Through our Climate Smart Cities Program at The Trust For Public Land we help cities strategically use parks and natural lands as "green infrastructure" serving four objectives:
Connect: Trails and transit lines provide carbon-free transportation and link pedestrians and bicyclists to popular destinations and each other while leaving their car at home.
Cool: Shady green spaces reduce the urban "heat island" effect, protect people from heat waves, and reduce summer energy use.
Absorb: Water-smart parks, playgrounds, and green alleys absorb rainfall, reduce flooding, and recharge drinking water supplies while saving energy for water management.
Protect: Shoreline parks and natural lands such as wetlands buffer cities from rising seas, coastal storms, and flooding.
The Climate-Smart Los Angeles project delivers on the commitment of the Trust for Public Land to assist the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and City departments in meeting several goals of the sustainability pLAn. Over the past 12 months, we worked with over 20 local experts, who comprise the Technical Advisory Team, ranging from City planning staff, City and County watershed protection staff, LA Metro, public health experts, local academic and research institutions, and community leaders in developing a data-based Geographic Information System (GIS) decision support tool that gives decision makers the ability to identify and prioritize locations, down to the parcel level, where nature-based green infrastructure can achieve multiple benefits. Some of the City’s sustainability pLAn goals we hope can be supported through the Decision Support Tool include:
- Reduce urban/rural temperature difference by 1.7°F by 2025, and 3.0°F by 2035;
- Increase walk, bike, and transit mode share to at least 35% of all trips by 2025 and 50% by 2035;
- Reduce LADWP purchases of imported water by 50% by 2025 and source 50% of water locally by 2035;
- Ensure 65% of Angelenos live within ½ mile of a park or open space by 2025.
We are grateful for the local expertise and contributions of the Technical Advisory Team and look forward to working with the City, County, and other partners in exploring how the GIS Decision Support Tool can assist them in making climate-smart green infrastructure investments.